Friday, October 07, 2011

"..Open City"

"Today I want to see your eyes without anger
Brown city, growing on the hills.
Poems are short tragedies, portable, like transistor radios.
Paul lies on the ground, it's night, a torch, the smell of pitch.
Impatient glances in caf├ęs, someone yells, a small heap of coins lies on the table.
Why? Why not?
The roar of cars and scooters, hubbub of events.
Poetry often vanishes, leaving only matchsticks."

--Adam Zagajewski, from "Eternal Enemies"

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

It Was Me

I only try to kill time
so that it wouldn't kill me.

Here, in the shadow of affluence,
the city waits in a deep ravine
where lives tick by methodically.

Their faces turned, expressionless,
climbing the cold step of a tram,
or shattering on steely waters.

Their throats clear familiar sounds
rendered foreign and hurried
and full of phlegm.

I wait behind curtains
the color of freeze-dried spring;
at some point you'll be back,
closer perhaps, though the distance persists.
It isn't you who's kept it this time--

somewhere over there I linger.
In the flurry of departure, it turns out,
that thing that kept nagging me,
the thing we forgot to pack,
that which stayed behind--

it was me.